Surviving the night shift, one uNight Light at a time
August 31, 2021
As night shift nurses, we can usually tell how our shift is going to start out just by looking at the nurse giving us report! If their water bottle is full, their hair is pulled up in an extra messy bun, and they have that, “I just did 12 million things today” look on their face, it’s probably going to be a rough night. The night shift crew is pretty tight though! We’re able to knock-out all the tasks and have fun doing it, especially when the 4am delirium sets in and everyone starts giggling over random things because you’re the kind of tired that makes everything hilarious.
There are pros and cons to working either days or nights but there are DEFINITELY some perks to working night shift and we’ll share them with you.
The first and most amazing thing is… not having to wake up early, can I get an ‘Amen’! Not a morning person so blackout curtains are LIFE.
Admin is usually not around and that means a bit more autonomy through the shift.
The night shift differential!
SOMETIMES it makes childcare woes easier to manage.
Less interruptions into your workflow. Oftentimes visitors and ancillary staff are gone and you’re able to get through your tasks more efficiently.
More time spent with patients! We get to truly connect with our patients after everyone leaves and build a strong rapport. We especially love that part of nursing.
The potlucks are amazing (pre-COVID life). Night Shift staff know how to turn the break room into a BUFFET!
Night shift staff have a special bond, and we develop life long friendships!
Despite how amazing working the night shift is, there are some drawbacks. Here are a few of the not so great things about working the night shift that we’ve experienced.
Sleep! What’s sleep? Your sleep hygiene is severely compromised working the night shift. We do the best we can. Blackout curtains, clustered shifts, naps pre-shift, no naps pre-shift. Everyone is different.
Mandatory meetings that are scheduled right in the middle of the day. Love those so much! Basically, other people’s schedules don’t accommodate a night shifter’s sleep all day before or after a shift lifestyle
Not being able to see in the dark in your patients room while they’re sleeping! That’s why the uNight Light is such a game changer! Being able to provide patient care and interventions while in the dark and NOT waking our patients up has been amazing!
Working the night shift isn’t for everyone, but if you’re on the fence on whether or not you should give it a try, do it! You’ll learn how to be resourceful, how to critically think independently, you’ll get the opportunity to really learn about your patients, and build incredible friendships with your co-workers.